In our homes, one of the easiest ways to get exposed to sewage is through overflowing toilets and septic tanks, broken sewage pipes, backed-up sinks and tubs, and floor drains.

While we may not generally think about these issues, professionals such as plumbers and wastewater treatment workers definitely do have to think about these matters. Of course, these wastewater treatment workers and general sewage treatment workers at a wastewater treatment plant focus on it as part of their job.

These clean drinking water workers understand that raw sewage can carry quite a bit of issue and must be resolved as quickly as possible at wastewater treatment plants.

If you have raw sewage issues within your property, commercial or residential, it is necessary to act quickly to resolve them fast.

What is Raw Sewage?

Sewage refers to the fluid that consists of excrement, industrial substances, and debris such as towels that one uses to clean themselves, and other materials and substances. Sewage lines, pipes, and manholes are breeding grounds for all manner of pathogens.

But what are pathogens and why should sewage workers and other workers exposed to raw sewage be aware of it? Why would the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and other institutions ensure that they take care of raw sewage issues as quickly as possible?

It is because pathogens, whether sewage workers deal with it or water treatment workers deal with it, can be very harmful.

Pathogens are disease-causing agents and examples include, viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi. Exposure to these pathogens in sewage materials can cause several health risks with varying severity.

These exposures can be through a variety of instances. One can obtain exposure by simply eating with your hands when you are spending time with others and ingesting different drinks, even when you are socializing and enjoying a few smoking instruments.

Of course, you can also have exposure by coming into contact with equipment and material that have dealt with raw sewage elements in some form or fashion. That is why it is no surprise that sewage workers and those that deal directly with raw sewage must be quite careful. They can easily fall into the category of workers exposed to issues at a sewage treatment plant.

Remember that exposure can take place with sewer workers and others directly through cuts, unknowing touch, even cuts and wounds that are left open and not treated. It is essential to note that the body has many entryways for invasion. These areas range from the surface of the skin to the face and through our breathing. For instance, it is possible to take in particles that could be harmful.

History has told this story over time about the health problems associated with sewage. An example is the Cholera outbreak in Medieval Europe. There are many different health issues associated with being affected by sewage exposure. We know that there are and more than a hundred thousand affected cases that takes place worldwide yearly.

Knowledge of these health risks will help individuals plan for effective disposal and some are listed below:

  • Hepatitis A: It is a viral issue caused by several origins. It causes inflammation of the liver with symptoms such as diarrhea, jaundice, stomach pain and cramps, and excessive vomiting.
  • Cryptosporidiosis: It is a common waterborne parasite with similar symptoms as the rest. It is a more prevalent waterborne disease in the United States. Most people exhibit no symptoms, most experience diarrhea, loose or watery stools, stomach cramps, upset stomach, and a slight fever.
  • Aspergillus: It is a fungal infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mold. Allergic symptoms (such as runny nose) and sometimes can lead to lung infection.
  • Dysentery: Intense infectious diarrhea. Also called shigellosis and the causative agent is bacterial. Symptoms include; Diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and stomach cramps.
  • Campylobacteriosis: Also called campylobacter, campylobacter infection, or campylobacteriosis gastroenteritis. A bacterial Infection got from contaminated food and water. Eating raw or undercooked food items like chicken and other types of fowl or eating something that touched it can also cause it and can be resolved without treatment in some individuals.
  • Salmonellosis: Commonly referred to as food poisoning, they’re usually talking about salmonella. It is carried in the intestines and feces and spread through contaminated food. Symptoms are diarrhea, fever, pain, and cramping in the belly.
  • Typhoid fever: A bacterial infection that is quite common and as a result of exposure to sewage. Its spread is increased through contaminated food and water and symptoms include headaches and stomach pain.
  • Methaemoglobinaemia: A type of poisoning in children as a result of highly contaminated Nitrate water. Ineffective and poorly designed septic systems installed in sandy soils are known to cause nitrate contamination of groundwater and when it gets in children’s water can be toxic. Issues present here include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin, and death can occur within a few days.
  • Yersiniosis: Yersinia is a sewage-found rod-like bacteria that causes various symptoms depending on the age range affected. The unique symptom here is the joint pain found in older children and adults.
  • Diarrheagenic E. coli: It happens as a result of drinking fecally contaminated water. Its symptoms include fever, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.

Sewage backup health risks

A sewage backup is the end product of a clogged sewer line which may happen as a result of tree roots in the sewer line, blockages in the sanitary main, and old sewage systems.

Materials such as toilet paper, hair, coffee grounds, or food waste can cause Sewage pipes to be clogged.

Recall that a sewage backup contains tons of harmful materials to health and the home at large.

The signs of sewage backup include; stench, longer draining time in tubs or sinks, water backup in drains. This can lead to a high risk of infectious diseases when in contact with both children and the elderly.

Examples of different problems of sewage exposure are present below:

Encephalitis:  A viral infection that leads to inflammation of brain tissues as a result of the immune system attacking brain tissue. It is found in heavily polluted water such as that contaminated by sewage.

There are various symptoms that one can face with this ailment due to sewage exposure. These issues include an ongoing fever at high levels, aches and pains, general lethargy, overall weakness, and even dizzy spells. Of course, it can get worse with some cases ending in a comatose state. It can be a significant issue for those who are more vulnerable.

E. Coli: This is a wide spectrum of bacteria that are responsible for tons of diseases. It causes GI problems, Urinary Tract infections, pneumonia, and even death in severe untreated cases. The higher the strain the higher the risk of damage to the kidneys and red blood cells. 

Leptospirosis: A bacterial disease caused by Leptospira. It also affects animals and its symptoms mimic that of other conditions, and some people may be asymptomatic. It is spread by contact with soil sewer backup.

Sewer Gas: It is a combination of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide. Hydrogen sulfide from sewer backup irritates the nose, eyes, and throat while carbon monoxide causes nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Increased exposure has been linked to cardiovascular problems. 

Heliobacter Pyloria: A negative bacteria found in the stomach. Found richly in sewer backup. It causes ulcers, and research shows that can lead to stomach cancer.

Work with Apke For Raw Sewage and Sewage Exposure Concerns

Knowledge of the health problems of exposure to sewage is important to prevent the spread of these diseases which have an instant effect on human health. Problems with sewage drainage and proper disposal should then be addressed quickly and through proper maintenance channels.

Our professionals at Apke Total Restoration are able to handle a wide variety of situations from damage restoration to residential cleaning and commercial cleaning.

We understand that exposure to raw sewage can be critical and can affect sewer workers, wastewater workers, and other professionals at various sites if the issues are not contained. It can be a problem in residential properties and in commercial properties in the Ohio area, that is why we ensure to provide our assistance to improve health outcomes in the Ohio area.

Reach out to Apke today for help with cleaning and mitigating further issues. For 24/7 Emergency services please call – 513-617-3964.    For non-emergency questions, please call 513-541-1900.  Regular Business hours are Monday thru Friday 8 am to 5 pm.